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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: The Maccabaean Revolt (PGHC11487)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Maccabaean Revolt is one of the most important events of Hellenistic history. And yet everything about the "religious persecution" of 168 BC and Maccabaean resistance to it is debated - what happened, who was responsible, and why? This course discusses recent advances made in Historical and Archaeological scholarship that elucidate both the events themselves and the context in which they unfolded.
Course description The traditional narrative surrounding the Maccabaean Revolt is fairly simple. A Greek king wanted to eradicate Judaism, but the Jews, led by the heroic Maccabees, fought back and prevailed. This story still has its uses in modern foundation myths, but it has long been argued that things were in fact much more complex. The motivations of Antiochus IV on the one hand and the resistance fighters of the other have been interpreted in various ways, leading to wildly different conceptions of the whole sequence of events. New narratives have recently been published that call into question the very reality of the persecution, and give completely different accounts of the real reasons for the revolt. While no new consensus is in sight, a number of new finds - inscriptions, archaeological remains, previously unrecognized parallels elsewhere - shed important light on this crucial moment in Hellenistic history. Focusing on a very limited timespan (ca. 200 to 152 BC), this course explores how recent advances and old insights can help to understand the events in their historical context.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  3
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework (100%): 4,000-5,000 word essay
Feedback Students are expected to discuss the topic and the methodology of their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the sources and debates surrounding the Maccabean revolt;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship and popular debates surrounding the topic;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
J. Bernhardt, Die jüdische Revolution, Berlin 2017.

K. Bringmann, Hellenistische Reform und Religionsverfolgung in Judäa, Göttingen 1983.

S. Cohen, The Beginnings of Jewishness, Berkeley 1999.

B. Eckhardt, Ethnos und Herrschaft, Berlin 2013.

E. Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism, Berkeley 1998.

S. Honigman, Tales of High Priests and Taxes, Oakland 2014.

E. Nodet, La crise maccabéenne, Paris 2005.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Benedikt Eckhardt
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMr Jonathan Donnelly
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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